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Old 08-15-2002, 01:23 PM   #1
Child of the 7th Age
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Sting Thank you, Mister Underhill

Thanks for the revised policies. I think we needed that! I've only been here six months, but even in that time, there have been tremendous changes. It is great to see so many new people, but it is sadly true there's too much garble and too many non-Tolkien posts on the site. Don't get me wrong, I love good, healthy Tolkien-related nonsense, and there are places for that here. But too much of the stuff seems to be brain-dead chatter.

I'm not doing as much posting in the books forum forum as I used to do, partly because I'm involved in a dynamic and very challenging RPG, but also because a few of the questions there are not as thoughtful or interesting as before.

The really big problem I see, though, is in Novices and Newcomers. When I first came, that was a fun place with people asking for responses to imaginatively contrived scenarios, and also "what's your favorite......?" Now, too much of it is totally unrelated to what the Downs should be about.

I may get some tomatoes thrown for this, or have my rating dip 32 points, but I think we need to be careful. This place is different than any other Tolkien site I've been on. And that difference is precious! The Downs allows for more serious discussions than I've seen elsewhere as well as really encouraging people to put their imaginations to good use. Let's not lose that to a bunch of meaningless drivel!

Hope the guidelines help. Oh, yeah, I'm a sig violator myself. I'm working on my sig-- I've got it down a bit, and will take another look at it later!!

sharon, the 7th age hobbit

[ August 15, 2002: Message edited by: Child of the 7th Age ]
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Old 08-15-2002, 01:31 PM   #2
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Sting

Mister Underhill, Bw, Mithadan, and Sharku. I respect your descision and new policies, however I feel they are <em>too</em> strict. Just wanted to throw in my two cents.
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Old 08-15-2002, 01:35 PM   #3
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The new policies are the result of the combined efforts of the Downs team. Hopefully they'll lead to a Rennaissance of sorts for the Downs, particularly in certain forums such as Novices & Newcomers.
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Old 08-15-2002, 01:37 PM   #4
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My two cents : I feel the moderators are completely justified in what they do. When I first came to the Downs a few months ago, the topics were interesting, and were something you really had to think about. Now many of the topics seem to be about questions that you could easily look up the answer to in the books, without bothering to make a topic on it. All the posts that are meaningless also annoy me, I think someone else has posted on an interesting topic, only to go to it and see all it says is 'Yes, I agree', or 'Welcome back'.

Sometimes I feel the moderators are a bit harsh on the signature thing, but some people do abuse them. It's the Barrow Wight's site after all, and he can choose what he wants to do. We shouldn't complain. If you want to chat, there's always PM's, and the barrowdowns chat.
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Old 08-15-2002, 01:49 PM   #5
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Sting

I would like to echo and add to Child of the 7th Age when she says:

Quote:
I'm not doing as much posting in the books forum forum as I used to do, partly because I'm involved in a dynamic and very challenging RPG, but also because a few of the questions there are not as thoughtful or interesting as before.
Same here. In my case, I'm in the process of researching a topic that I intend to post in The Books, and have written a skeletal outline ... However, the mediocrity into which some topics in The Books has fallen has not motivated me to proceed in a timely manner. Why put time and effort into a decent Tolkien discussion topic, only to have it competing with or buried under a plethora of irrelevant non-Tolkien posts? To my mind, the mere thought of wading through mounds of treasureless dirt to reach the gem whose glinting is sorely hid dissuades talented fellow Barrow denizens from participating.

I specifically left a different Tolkien forum in favor of the Barrow Downs, because the previous forum had been allowed to be overrun by chaos, Orcs, and Trolls. Thus, I heartily applaud the efforts of the moderators of the Barrow Downs to prune the trees of barren branches and toss the dead wood into the fire, so that when it comes to the quality of our discourse, both intellectual light and friendly warmth may increase. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

* bows appreciation *

Gandalf the Grey

[ August 15, 2002: Message edited by: Gandalf_theGrey ]
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Old 08-15-2002, 02:25 PM   #6
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Sting

Gandalf the Grey --

Like you, I'm guilty in recent weeks of doing far fewer posts in both Book, and Novices and Newcomers. Also, of posting far fewer questions in these two sections. And my guess is that I'm not the only one who's pulled back like this.

Partly, it's because of vacations and summer, and being more involved in RPGs. But it actually might be helpful if some of us who used to do some posting in those areas tried to rev up our engines and tried again. My own schedule will get a bit easier in a week or two as "summer" gives ways to "fall," at least as far as school goes.

Like I said, I'm especially concerned with Novices and Newcomers. What we need is someone like Birdland to come forward with some good stuff that's on target and very funny and imaginative. (Holds up picket sign: WE WANT BIRDIE!)

I've even thought of going back and looking at some of the older threads in that section which still have life in them, that would be fun to revive.

Anybody have any ideas what we can do to improve things, rather than jus grousing?

sharon, the 7th age hobbit
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Old 08-15-2002, 02:29 PM   #7
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Absolutely. Good discussion begets good discussion. Don't hold back with those good topics you have up your sleeves. Post 'em!
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Old 08-15-2002, 03:56 PM   #8
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Sting

This is a good wake-up call. And I don't mean for everyong else, I mean for myself personally.
And as long as this place does not begin to resemble Auschwitz, we should all be happy wraiths together. Long live, er, die, the Downs. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 08-15-2002, 04:02 PM   #9
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No offense, Lush, but since this is the second time the 'Auschwitz' analogy has come up, I have to call you on it. Comparing this or any other discussion board to the most infamous of the Nazi death camps is, to understate it, a bit over-the-top.

The folks who moderate the Downs Forum are, for the most part, the people who built the Downs Forum. Our goal is not to destroy intelligent and fun conversation here, it's to save it and to create an environment where it can flourish.
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Old 08-15-2002, 04:27 PM   #10
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Silmaril

I, too, wish to thank the admins. However strict these policies may be for some, they are for the best. I am glad to know that the admins are doing a great job trying to up the quality of this forum. Thank you.
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Old 08-15-2002, 04:30 PM   #11
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1420!

I would like to add my thanks to the moderators for the hard work they are putting into making the downs a better place for me to inhabit. I have also noticed the drop in post standards and a must say that the changes are just in time before things got out of hand. Some months ago I posted a topic that I thought would get lots of discussion but the topic was quickly covered up by post like: should I read the hobbit or what book should I read next. Once again Thanks for all the hard work in maintaining the site. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 08-15-2002, 04:39 PM   #12
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Finally! Someone has done something to get rid of the nonsense that is cluttering up this site! Okay, I know I reply to some of the topics, but I stay as far away from topics like "Who do you think is the cutest member of the fellowship?" and "I HATE ARWEN!!!!!" I personally think that the rules are justified and then some. Things were getting way out of hand. Okay, I'll stop rambling, now.
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Old 08-15-2002, 04:40 PM   #13
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Pipe My agreement in principle to the aforesaid motion

Quite right. It was about time that we had some hard-and-fast rules by which to moderate our behaviour. If the price of keeping up standards is that I have to cut down my signature and exercise some self-discipline in posting, then so be it. Not that I'm offering any guarantees, you understand.
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Old 08-15-2002, 04:43 PM   #14
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Sting

Forgive me if I offend with my WWII references, but then again, I never compared the Downs to a concentration camp, did I? I was pointing out the danger of possible extremety. Whether the atmosphere actually gets to that level is entirely up to you guys, but I have faith that it won't. But can I, please, be allowed a moment of dark-humoured, politically incorrect trepidation? I certainly wasn't going after anyone, I'm just nervous to see what the changes will mean for people like myself.
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Old 08-15-2002, 05:13 PM   #15
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*Embarrassed, Maril clears her throat.*

What changes?

Oh. Nevermind. Just read Mr. U's post. Hear, hear. Only a few of them made me cringe in guilt.

-Maril

[ August 15, 2002: Message edited by: Marileangorifurnimaluim ]
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Old 08-15-2002, 05:33 PM   #16
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Well I suppose this means that Malbeth The Seer thread can finally get deleted, hooo hummmm. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

Onward to our rennaissance!
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Old 08-15-2002, 05:45 PM   #17
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Damn, and that was a fine thread too. I was just about to audition to be Underhill's Id.
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Old 08-15-2002, 07:27 PM   #18
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Sting

Chile' - thanks for the vote of confidence, but I haven't been posting or reading as much as I used to, either. In fact, if it wasn't for the two very fine RPGs I'm involved in, I probably would have disappeared by now.

So hack away, mods! It seems in particular that the Books forum has become unnecessarily bloated. If there are some older threads out there that would bear a second look, it would be hard to find them under all the "What's your favorite..." and "I love Orlie!" threads.
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Old 08-15-2002, 08:16 PM   #19
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Silmaril

Yes, thank you indeed.
I, too, have not been posting as much lately because I really don't see anything to comment about. It seemed like every time I went into the Novices and Newcomers board it was full of endless "Hello I'm New" threads... I mean I like to meet the new members, but there are so many new members at once that it's tiring going through all of the "hi" messages. Is it possible to make one main "I'm new thread", I don't know, just a thought (though it probably would not work).
But, I'm babbling, thank you Mr.Underhill (as well as the BW and all other moderators).
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Old 08-16-2002, 12:20 AM   #20
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Thumbs up

This is probably the best news I have heard on the Downs for a very, very long time. I truly hope it will bring more sanety as well as quality to the forum. As it is intented. Thanks to all of those who have worked out these new guidelines - well done - and thanks for listening to so many of us that almost got too weary with all the weeds...

Cheers Telchar
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Old 08-16-2002, 09:32 AM   #21
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ok, time for my crazy sugestion.
(steps onto soapbox)
it seems to me, a large problem here is off topic posts and threads. there is no one easy way to deal with this. sure, the admin. could delete them and warn people, but they have done that in the past and the off topic nonsence continues. well, if you can't beat em, join em.
so, i am acually proposing an off topic forum. of course it would have to stay within the confines of dencency and, if the need arises, i would glady become the monerater of that forum. now you are probably saying no to my idea and think im a crackpot, but think about it. this forum could cut back on the nonsence in other forums, give the downers a cance to get to know each other better in an envirment that is not limited to tolkien, and could even attrach new members. i know what your saying, why don't you just use the chatroom? because the forum is so much better. so, mr bw and your assossiates please put some consideration into my sugestion.
(steps off of soapbox)
thank you for your time.
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Old 08-16-2002, 09:51 AM   #22
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Sting

But Nazzy, that would just make even more chaos. The problem is, that the Downs are simply getting too big to control. And the bigger, the more bandwidth will be used. Which means the admin must pay even more for it. The only solution to THAT, would be for US to pay for our membership. Not really the idea, though personally, I can see quite some potential in that.

[ August 16, 2002: Message edited by: Maikadilwen ]
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Old 08-16-2002, 09:54 AM   #23
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(sigh)
it was just an idea...
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Old 08-16-2002, 09:55 AM   #24
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White-Hand

The idea of an off-topic forum has been brought up several times in the past. Each time, we have rejected the idea because it would turn the Downs from a Tolkien forum to a Tolkien-and-everything else forum. That's something we could never have. A free-for-all forum would make us like every other forum out there. And if we're like the others, why would people bother to come here?

If you want to talk about Middle-earth, this is the place. But if you feel like talking about your favorite band or just chit-chat, you'll need to find a different medium.
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Old 08-16-2002, 09:59 AM   #25
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Sting

*** OFF TOPIC ***

Maikadilwen spoke of everyone paying for the upkeep of the Downs, and you can do that indirectly by purchasing things at the store. Sure, there is the possibility that on some items you may end up paying $1 or $2 more, but that extra cost supports the site and the forum.
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Old 08-16-2002, 10:10 AM   #26
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1420!

I have my mug! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] I didn't need another mug, but it seems only right to support the Downs after all the fun I've had here.

-Maril
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Old 08-16-2002, 10:14 AM   #27
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Sting

I chose the Barrow-downs because it was more inclined to accept and particapate intellecutal discussions. Other sites take one look as a question with deep thought and avoid it like a fart in an eleveator.

I appreciate this site as it fills in time between terms at college and gives me a break from my other pet projects.

I am also tired of some of the topics that have less then favorable concepts and overpopulate the forums. We really need a push back into the right direction.

[ August 16, 2002: Message edited by: Eol ]
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Old 08-16-2002, 10:21 AM   #28
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Silmaril

You've seen some drastic changes in six months? Try two years on for size! Indeed this board has deteriorated from the state of its former glory. I remember not being able to post in 'The Books' because the questions were too deep and thought provoking for me to answer! Granted that back then I had only read LotR twice and had yet to begin The Silmarillion. You say these new regulations are too harsh? Bah! If only you had seen the former glory of this site, and the state that it has now gravitated towards. If only these regulations can be upheld, perhaps the forums shall return to their prior magnificence.

As to the suggestion for a forum dedicated to off-topic posts, it's a good idea, but one that would ultimately fail. It may work for a short time, but these off-topic posts would eventually leak out and saturate the other forums, much like garbage water seeps out from the plastic bag no matter what you try to do.

So onward I say, and let this renaissance sweep across the Downs!
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Old 08-16-2002, 10:35 AM   #29
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Sting

I constantly see people asking about an off-topic forum, and just to remind you all, there is ALREADY a BarrowDowns chatroom - what is a chatroom for if not to talk? It's unnecesary to bring it into the forum.
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Old 08-16-2002, 01:13 PM   #30
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Sting

I know exacly what you are talking about Feanoro. Indeed, back when I was a wee little wight, I steered clear of The Books forum, as I had no idea what everyone was talking about. Some of the threads were illegable to me, as I couldn't even pronounce half the words there. now however, the threads have reached a point where even Naz can reply. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 08-16-2002, 01:22 PM   #31
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yup, and i see how you want the downs to be a gooder place too.
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Old 08-16-2002, 03:47 PM   #32
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Sting

lol, a whole 6 months ago eh Gimli? About a year ago is when it started to degrade, when the pre-movie rush came. Why, oh why, did we vote at 25 Hobbits?

Fall and Winter are coming, get your Barrow-Downs long-sleeve t-shirts before it's too late! And maybe a new mug for coffee and hot chocolate.
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Old 08-16-2002, 04:46 PM   #33
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Pipe

Can I suggest Feanaro that although the quality of the posts has detiriated, perhaps the depth of the questions and answers in "the Books" inparticular is not just because of the pre-movie rush (or post movie rush), but because younger readers are becoming interested in the downs discussions having only read the books a couple of times? (I don't mean to offend anyone, I myself am only a teen but it could be a reason).
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Old 08-16-2002, 08:39 PM   #34
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Sting

I only joined this last May, after reading through the forum for about a month. Since that time, I've seen less and less Tolkien related topics. And therefore, find less of interest to reply with a post. So, I welcome these guidelines, though I'm sure I'm guilty of a couple BS posts myself.
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Old 08-16-2002, 08:54 PM   #35
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I too applaude the Mod's for these changes. I have been here about 9 months now and I have seen the posts degraded from very intellectual to nonsence.

Thank you for trying to make this a better forum. BTW, I will edit my sig.
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Old 08-16-2002, 09:08 PM   #36
Ithaeliel
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Silmaril

After sifting through the oldest topics on the board in most of the forums, I can see what Feanaro was talking about. It's sad to see how much the quality of the Downs board has deteriorated, even after I joined almost half a year ago. Now The Books forum is speckled with recycled old discussions and topics that really do not make one think. Perhaps some of this is because people have dried up the topic stream, but some of it is also because people do not bother to look things up or don't think about what they are posting before they post it. Why, even the N&N forum used to have many enjoyable and relevant discussions that I liked to participate in, but now it is filled with "Hi I'm new" threads, and I rarely visit it. As Tigerlily said, it's not that I don't like newbies; I welcome them and hope that they contribute their insight to the Downs, but it is sometimes easier to, as I did, just jump right in and don't look for a welcoming committee.
Even the Movies is cluttered with "I hate Arwen" or "Orli is HOTT" threads. The Freestyle RPG room has a few one-line-RPer threads and is losing its Tolkien feel. The Barrow-Downs is the one that I see has changed the least, as the admins usually prowl about here.
If my criticism of the board's deterioration seems a bit harsh, forgive me; I do not intend to offend anyone, and I certainly hope that I do not contribute to the changes for the worse that have taken place here.
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Old 08-18-2002, 08:51 AM   #37
The Squatter of Amon Rdh
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Sting

Well it's only been a couple of days, but already I can see a marked improvement (in The Books at least). Gone are the silly threads (thanks to Estelyn's ruthless decimation); and not only have they not been replaced, but I've noticed that some pretty thought-provoking discussions have been started instead. It's a little early to start a round of back-slapping, but it's certainly looking hopeful.
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Old 08-18-2002, 11:49 AM   #38
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Silmaril

I think there's nothing more satisfying than a freshly mown Forum, don't you agree?

I think the thought-provoking threads were there all along, they were just lost in the overgrown weeds.

BTW, Esty also found 14 baseballs, a tennis racket without any strings, one Nike shoe (left foot), a slightly moldering croquet set, an unadorned gold ring, a deflated soccer ball and a bra (if it's yours, we shall return it, no questions asked. Honest. We don't want to know).

Feanaro - uhm, you could make millions off the answer to this question: how does one avoid a fart in an elevator? Enquiring minds want to know.

-Maril
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Old 08-18-2002, 11:55 AM   #39
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I can understand the ring and the underwear, but a croquet set? It's probably a prop from one of the RPGs. Incidentally, that ring's probably not important; I'll look after it if you like. [EDIT: this was once the old 'evil' smiley, which some of you may remember]
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Last edited by The Squatter of Amon Rdh; 02-22-2006 at 05:15 AM. Reason: Fixed broken smiley.
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Old 08-18-2002, 12:05 PM   #40
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Hullo Child of the 7th Age,

* bows a friendly greeting * [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Please pardon my delayed response. This past Friday, lightning got me twice. At work, it struck my laptop computer as I was pressing the ENTER key to print a page. Out of everyone else present at the time, I was the only one affected. At home, lightning struck my apartment and reset all of my electrical devices. So, lightning struck twice in one day in two different cities ... and that was the easy part of my week.

I wanted to compliment you and all your fellow participants on the stellar novel-worthy quality of your RPG, "The Lonely Star". Kudos go out of course to you, as well as piosenniel, Birdland, Mithadan, mark12_30, Rose Cotton ... I hope that in future, I shall be able to participate in one of your RPGs. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

(As it is, I'm moving but slowly in my own RPG, and one of the reasons is as you mention ... some of the participants are on vacation. At this time, I would also like to extend compliments to Bethberry, Birdland, Orofacion of the Vanyar, piosenniel, The Fifth and Vanima Edhel for all their excellent efforts in crafting a vastly enjoyable Tolkien interactive fanfic adventure tale.) [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

I share the sentiments behind this thank-you thread of yours that it's highly appropriate to publicly recognize and appreciate the good efforts of those whose presence make Barrow Downs such a good and worthy forum, ... both when it comes to our excellent team of moderators, and to us Barrow denizens who strive to participate for excellence in literary discussion and RPG creativity in the true spirit of Tolkien.

Now that I'm seeing more active moderation in the Book forum and Novices and Newcomers, I personally am being encouraged to participate more, (though whether this is a good thing, I'll leave to the judgement of others * good-natured grin * [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] ).

IMHO, I am optimistic that given a little time, the forums will indeed experience a renaissance. I look forward to seeing more posts from you, Child of the 7th Age, and I echo your sentiments in calling for the increased presence of Birdie, among many others. I am also especially awaiting the return of my good friend Bethberry to the Barrow Downs and look forward to many a merry and intellectual conversation with her in the best Bombadil style. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

At your Service,

Gandalf the Grey

[ August 18, 2002: Message edited by: Gandalf_theGrey ]
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